2 sept. 2007

Le MMORPG de Bioware : des nouvelles

J'avais parlé brièvement ici du projet de MMORPG de Bioware (auteur de Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, notamment).

Selon des rumeurs datant de l'année dernière (plutôt des suppositions, en fait), il pourrait s'agir d'un nouveau MMO Star Wars. Depuis un article paru sur Kotaku en mars 2006, il n'y avait pas vraiment de nouvelles au sujet de ce projet. Récemment (en juin), de nouvelles informations ont fait surface.
For the MMO, Bioware will be employing a new type of technology called StreamBase, a type of "complex event processing" that has also caught the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies. StreamBase was developed through funding by In-Q-Tel, an investment firm that specifically supports technology that the CIA is interested in.

The complex event processing will serve Bioware by analyzing events taking place in their world at a rate of up to 350,000 messages a second. From there, the tons of mini-events can be cut into groups based on timeframe or type. This will allow for natural, smooth adjustment of the game world to the number of players and their actions as well as help in monitoring when certain players are causing problems. Bioware technical director Bill Dalton expects the new technology will allow their game to "do more than match" the current expectations of MMOs with titles such as World of Warcraft.

The game's name and setting remain unannounced, but Bioware did confirm that they're currently planning for a 2009 launch. According to the article, the development of the title has also been split between the Austin, Texas studio and Bioware's Edmonton, Canada studio.
Je trouve un peu louche qu'à moins de deux ans de la sortie de ce jeu, on ne sache rien sur le titre ni même le type d'univers dans lequel il se déroulera. C'est peut-être vraiment le nouveau MMORPG Star Wars ; ça expliquerait pourquoi ils ne peuvent pas le dire. Quelques éléments supplémentaires qui pourraient pencher dans le sens de cette hypothèse :
- en 2008-2009, il y aura une nouvelle vague Star Wars, avec la sortie des séries télé (la nouvelle série animée et la série avec de vrais acteurs) ; 2009 est donc une bonne année pour sortir un gros jeu Star Wars
- dans une interview (vieille - fin 2005), une fille de LucasArts disait : "when Star Wars Galaxies 2 is developed -- perhaps in 2008 or 2009 -- things will be different." (elle dit "when", pas "if"...)
- le jeu est développé en partie à Austin (Texas), là où se trouve justement le studio en charge de l'actuel Star Wars Galaxies

Bien entendu, ça pourrait être complètement autre chose ; mais en attendant, on peut rêver... Knights of the Old Republic + Star Wars Galaxies adaptés au marché des MMO d'aujourd'hui, mais avec plus de complexité et d'interactions entre les joueurs que dans World of Warcraft... Ca serait vraiment cool.

[màj mai 2008 : un blog pour rassembler toutes les informations sur le projet de MMO Bioware potentiellement Star Wars]

3 commentaires:

Dr Chewbacca a dit…

Un article de juillet 2007 paru sur Eurogamer.net : BioWare MMO rears head

Extrait :

"The key points that we're gonna do that no one's done before in an MMOG are bring story, character, and emotion to it. Decisions matter, [non-player characters] aren't just Pez dispensers, and you're not in a grind," Rich Vogel, co-studio director and "MMO veteran", told the magazine.

"You're really compelled to get on and play what's happening today, kind of like watching a series like Lost on TV - putting page-turning in an MMO. It's going to be extremely challenging thing to do, believe me."

The staff at BioWare Austin are also huge fans of World of Warcraft, particularly how polished the game is - something they hope to emulate. But having played in Blizzard's world for so long there are naturally areas they feel they can improve upon, specifically the fabled endgame.

"We have big plans for endgame content that we can't talk about because it's a major part of our design," James Ohlen, lead designer who's work includes Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights, told Games For Windows magazine. "We think it's a very important aspect of the game, and we don't want players to be stuck grinding through the same content over and over again."

Dr Chewbacca a dit…

màj : analyse des offres d'emploi sur le site de Bioware, pour l'unité d'Austin qui travaille sur le futur MMORPG :
- indices plutôt anti scénario MMO Starwars : dans l'annonce de recrutement "Writer" de l'équipe Bioware Austin : "Familiarity with the fantasy genre and role-playing games is a must." Dans l'annonce pour Visual Effect Designer : "Successful candidates will be able to research, conceptualize, and animate natural effects (water, smoke, foliage, dust, fabric); as well as fantastical effects (spells, explosions, powers, etc.). You must have an interest in fantasy."

- indices plutôt pour un scénario MMO Starwars : dans l'annonce "conceptual artist" : "Interested applicants may forward their resume and submit a 2D portfolio. Please include samples from at least three of the following categories: Environment - Architecture, Interior architecture, Character/Costume design, Creature design, Vehicles and technology, Props, items, objects"

Dr Chewbacca a dit…

màj 23/10/07 : "A source close to BioWare confirmed to us today that the studio’s upcoming untitled massively-multiplayer online RPG will be centered around the Star Wars universe, specifically that of Knights of the Old Republic, [...]." [source]

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